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Panthers will interview Baylor coach Matt Rhule

Matt Rhule, Giants

The Carolina Pantherscoaching search will dip into the collegiate ranks. According to David Newton of ESPN, the Panthers will interview Baylor head coach Matt Rhule for the same position.

Per Newton, Panthers owner David Tepper said it would be a tough transition for a college coach, but he hasn’t ruled out hiring one.

Rhule, 44, is credited with bringing Baylor back from the dead after a scandal, led by former head coach Art Briles, set the program back. He was distinguished with Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2019 after leading his program to an 11-2 record. At Baylor, he went from 1-11 to 7-6 to 11-2. He led back-to-back 10-win seasons for Temple before heading to Waco, Texas.

Rhule previously earned interest in the NFL in 2018. The New York Jets considered him but ultimately chose Adam Gase to helm the ship.

If he were to go to the NFL, Rhule would need the right time. He does not want to be valued for his football knowledge alone. He wants to run a complete program.

“I don’t think that I would ever want to see myself or any coach in a situation where you’re just subcontracted out for your X’s and O’s knowledge,” Rhule said on Dec. 19, via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The teams that have won in college football — the Nick Sabans, the Dabo Swinneys — the people that win in pro football —the Mike Tomlins, the Bill Belichicks — they run a complete and total program.”

Rhule’s Baylor Bears will face the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs at the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.